TOKYO, Japan – From the beginning, Cruise’s mission has been to improve road safety, reduce emissions, and reduce congestion. As we work toward our goal of delivering our driverless tech to more people in more places, Cruise, alongside GM and Honda, has entered into a memorandum of understanding to establish a new joint venture (JV) to provide driverless ridehail service in Japan starting in early 2026.
“There is an important and growing societal need for safe and accessible transportation in Japan that autonomous vehicles can provide a solution for,” said Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt. “In addition to societal impact, the business opportunity is also exciting, as Japan represents one of the largest potential autonomous vehicle ridehail markets in the world, with many dense, highly populated cities that have high transportation needs.”
Co-developed with GM and Honda, the Cruise Origin will offer customers in Japan an entirely new kind of mobility experience. The purpose-built autonomous vehicle can carry up to six passengers with comfortable camp-fire seating. Approximately 500 Origins will be manufactured by GM for the launch of this new JV at Factory ZERO Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant in Michigan.
“GM has always been invested in defining the future of transportation and that’s more true today than ever,” said GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra. “The benefits of AVs — from safety to accessibility — are too profound to ignore and through this important partnership with Cruise and Honda, we’re bringing forward innovation that leverages our expertise in cutting-edge software and hardware to help more people around the world get where they need to go.”
In offering this driverless ridehail service, the new venture will coordinate and collaborate with various stakeholders, including the national and local governments, and transportation service providers in Japan. The service aims to help address a driver shortage in Japan, and offer a safer, more accessible form of transportation.
“Honda is striving to create the 'joy and freedom of mobility.' Through our driverless ride service with Cruise and GM, we will enable customers in Japan to experience a new value of mobility, improve the quality of their mobility experiences and offer the joy of mobility,” said Global CEO of Honda Toshihiro Mibe. “This will be a major step toward the realization of an advanced mobility society. Providing this service in central Tokyo where the traffic environment is complex will be a great challenge, however, by working jointly with Cruise and GM, Honda will exert further efforts to make it a reality.”
Pending government approvals, initial testing will begin next year and commercialization will begin in central Tokyo in early 2026. The three companies plan to subsequently expand and scale the service to areas outside of central Tokyo.